A Rare Pair of Allegorical Sculptures in Black, Blue Turquin, and Red Griotte Marble and Gilt and Patinated Bronze with Matte and Burnished Finishing, late Louis XVI period
Call +33 1 45 61 44 55
Attributed to François Rémond
In the manner of Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738-1814)
A Rare Pair of Allegorical Sculptures in Black, Blue Turquin, and Red Griotte Marble and Gilt and Patinated Bronze with Matte and Burnished Finishing
Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1790
Height 43 cm; bases 24 cm x 14 cm
Made entirely of finely chased patinated and gilt bronze with matte and burnished finishing, each sculptural group features a magnificent young woman with upswept hair, dressed in a classical tunic, who is leaning on an elongated, tapering blue turquin marble urn with a torus and cord-decorated pedestal, which stands on a square plinth. The lower portions of the urns are adorned with delicately detailed wide water leaves, have handles in the form of lions’ heads that are holding flower and leaf swags in their mouths, and feature a neck and lid that are pierced with round and oval apertures, or oculi, and are adorned with friezes of beads and twisted cords. The tall quadrangular red griotte marble bases have rounded corners, concave molding, and on the front feature reserves adorned with oblong panels depicting children at an altar, who are making a sacrifice or celebrating a coronation, while the young god Mars looks on, standing near a shield decorated with three fleur-de-lis. The shaped black marble plinths are surmounted by knurled friezes.
The unusual and elaborate design of these two rare allegorical sculptures, and the exceptional quality of the gilding and chasing of their bronze mounts, support an attribution to François Rémond, one of the most important Parisian bronze casters of Louis XVI period. Rémond is known to have regularly worked with some of the finest sculptors of the period, including Louis-Simon Boizot, and to have taken his inspiration from the work of Claude Michel, known as Clodion, who was the most renowned sculptor of the time. Among the small number of known allegorical sculptures that treat the theme of grieving, one terra cotta model, by an anonymous sculptor, is in the Paris Musée des Arts décoratifs (see the exhibition catalogue L’esprit créateur de Pigalle à Canova, Terres cuites européennes 1740-1840, Paris, Musée du Louvre, September 2003-January 2004, p. 272, catalogue n° 120). Two statuettes created by Clodion while in Rome in 1766 are today on display in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (see the exhibition catalogue Clodion 1738-1814, Paris, Musée du Louvre, March-June 1992, p. 110-113).
François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)
Along with Pierre Gouthière, he was one of the most important Parisian chaser-gilders of the last third of the 18th century. He began his apprenticeship in 1763 and became a master chaser-gilder in 1774. His great talent quickly won him a wealthy clientele, including certain members of the Court. Through the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, François Rémond was involved in furnishing the homes of most of the important collectors of the late 18th century, supplying them with exceptional clock cases, firedogs, and candelabra. These elegant and innovative pieces greatly contributed to his fame.
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